Tuesday, June 7, 2016

An unusual interurban

Our friend Laddie Vitek recently sent along some photos he took on a recent visit to Dayton and gave his permission to post them.  They're not directly IRM-related, but they show a pretty unique car that doesn't seem to get much press.  All photos here are copyright Laddie Vitek - do not re-post, distribute, etc etc without permission.

Dayton & Western 602 is the last surviving car from that line.  It was built in 1903 by Barney & Smith (making it extra rare, as only three B&S-built interurban cars are preserved anywhere) as a parlor car numbered 273.  B&S was located in Dayton so I suppose using the home town builder was an easy choice.  When Ohio Electric was formed in 1907, the D&W was one of the component lines and car 273 joined the OE fleet.  That company foundered in 1921 and was split up into its constituent companies, so car 273 went back to the newly-independent D&W.  They sent it back to Barney & Smith to be lengthened and rebuilt as a coach trailer, but during this work B&S went bankrupt so the work was completed by the Oakwood Street Railway of Dayton.  As a trailer, now numbered 602, the car remained in service until about 1931 (click here for a photo) after which it was sold for use as a house near Troy, OH.  In 2005 the car body was bought and moved to a bus garage in Dayton.  Here's what it looked like in 2007 - what a difference nine years makes!
Unfortunately I don't know much about who actually owns the 602, the group that restored it, or what their plans for the car are.  It looks very nice (the paint scheme it wears now looks odd to my eye but I haven't a clue what D&W cars were painted in service) and it's obvious that a tremendous amount of work has gone into this car.  Hopefully a good indoor display spot somewhere near Dayton is found for it.


Anonymous said...

That's an impressive restoration project! It's up there with the V&T McKeen motor car.

After seeing what you were able to find for parts at MOT and salvage for the 24's running gear, one can hope it would be possible to get this thing back on wheel trucks some day.


Anonymous said...

This car reminds me a great deal of the beautifully restored car 26 at the East Troy Railroad Museum. Similar in both paint scheme and general design.
C Kronenwetter

Unknown said...

This car actually belonged to my grandfather and his wife. They lived in it until 2004. My father spent most of his childhood in this house, and I spent a lot of time here as well. My grandfather is a model train enthusiast. The garage that was attached was 4x bigger than the car and was his muffler shop until he retired, then he filled it with huge landscapes and hundreds of feet of track.

Unfortunately, they did not sell voluntarily, and were rather distraught being forced from their home so the car could be "rescued". I am truly glad to see it restored, but wish it was done a bit differently.

D. Holley

Ray Persing said...

Car now belongs to Dayton History, Inc. The Dayton Carillon Historical Park will be the eventual home for the car, but only after they build a new display pavilion. They have a lead on trucks and undercarriage equipment. I agree that the paint scheme is odd; the photos I have of 602 show a uniform dark scheme with little ornamentation, perhaps the maroon that was so popular at the time.

The car had to be moved because the lease on the land was up - if it hadn't been preserved by some willing volunteers, it would have been demolished.

R Persing